Pregnant women and new mothers are inundated with messages regarding the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for babies in the first year of life and if you don't do that, shame on you for giving your child asthma, food allergies and eczema.

Except there is no significant difference in allergies were found between children who were ever breast fed versus those formula fed.

The study examined 194 patients, aged 4-18 years old, who had been diagnosed as having hay fever with documented results via a skin prick test. The patients were divided into two groups based on whether they were ever breast fed. There were 134 kids in the breastfed group and 60 in the formula fed group.

"We found both groups had similar numbers of kids with hay fever," said lead study author Quindelyn Cook, MD, who presented the work at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting . "We also found both groups had similar numbers of kids with asthma, eczema and food allergy."

"We know breastfeeding is good for babies, and new mothers should continue to breastfeed," said allergist Christina Ciaccio, MD, study author and ACAAI Fellow. "Larger studies need to be done to determine how these results might apply to the larger population."

Source: American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology